Motorcycle accidents are common in Huntington Beach. Thanks to the year-round good weather, this beach town attracts motorcyclists not just from around the county but from all over Southern California. Pacific Coast Highway offers a scenic route for motorcyclists and bicyclists alike. A number of locals use motorcycles as a means of transportation as well because it helps them navigate crowded Orange County freeways. As a result, we tend to see a number of major injury and fatal motorcycle accidents on our surface streets and freeways.
Recent Huntington Beach Motorcycle Accidents
When motorcycle accidents occur on surface streets, many of them tend to be collisions that occur at street intersections. A recent motorcycle accident in the city involved a 31-year-old motorcyclist who died after a collision with a pickup truck at the intersection of Slater Avenue and Morgan Lane. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. It is not clear if the driver of the pickup truck that struck him faced any charges.
In another recent fatal motorcycle accident, a 23-year-old man died after colliding with a sedan at the intersection of Beach Boulevard and Clay Avenue. In that case, the motorcyclist was taken to an area trauma center where he was pronounced dead. Officials said at the time of the crash that the motorcycle was southbound on Beach Boulevard and that the sedan was making a turn at Clay from northbound Beach. The intersection does not have traffic signals.
There was also a recent Huntington Beach motorcycle accident that involved a hit and run driver. In this case, a 26-year-old Long Beach man was riding his 2016 Harley Davidson on Pacific Coast Highway when he and the driver of a sedan collided. The driver of the sedan fled the scene. The motorcyclist was transported to an area hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The driver in this case was later arrested on suspicion of fatal hit and run. He was positively identified with the help of witnesses at the scene.
Left-Turn Motorcycle Accidents
In Huntington Beach, we see that a number of motorcycle versus vehicle accidents involve drivers who are making left turns. This is not just common in Huntington Beach, but all over the country, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The federal agency states that left-turn accidents account for 36% of fatal motorcycle accidents. The risk of a left-turn accident is high among all types of vehicles. More than half of crossing-path crashes involved left turns, NHTSA reports. The risk of injury for motorcyclists during a left-hand crash is higher in comparison to other motorists because of how vulnerable motorcyclists are to injuries.
Left-turn motorcycle accidents often occur when drivers don't recognize oncoming motorcyclists while making a left turn. Typically, we see that the oncoming motorcycle is struck by the turning car as the motorcyclist tries to make his or her way through the intersection. The law clearly states that the vehicle going straight through an unregulated intersection or the vehicle that is going straight through a green light has the right of way. The person who is about to make a left turn is required to stop and yield the right of way to the vehicle that is going straight.
California Vehicle Code Section 21801 (a) states: "The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left or to complete a U-turn upon a highway, or to turn left into public or private property, or an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction which are close enough to constitute a hazard at any time during the turning movement, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to the approaching vehicles until the left turn or U-turn can be made with reasonable safety."
Motorcycle Safety Tips for Huntington Beach Drivers
Motorcycles are often smaller and can be therefore more difficult to spot on the road. However, that is no excuse when you strike and seriously injure a motorcyclist. This is why drivers who share the road with motorcycles must be extra careful. Here are some important ways in which motorcycle safety can be accomplished on our roadways.
Be sure to check blind spots. Always signal, check your mirrors and check blind spots. These are good habits to begin with and are even more important when sharing the road with motorcycles. Because they are more compact, motorcycles may go unnoticed during a lane change or while making a turn. This is especially the case when traveling through roadways that are not well-lit, or in bad weather. If you are driving a larger vehicle such as a van or a large pickup truck, it is even more important that you check blind spots to make sure you are not missing motorcyclists. Be extra cautious when you change lanes or make turns.
Give motorcyclists the entire lane. You may think that motorcycles are smaller and therefore may not need to take up an entire lane. But, this is not necessarily true. A number of accidents occur when vehicles attempt to pass motorcycles in the same lane. Give motorcyclists the full lane just as you would to any other car or vehicle.
Watch out for turn signals. Treat motorcycle turn signals with care and caution. If you approach a motorcycle with an activated turn signal, wait for a moment to let them make their move.
Give motorcycle extra passing distance. Keep your distance from motorcycles. Many motorcyclists tend to slow down by rolling off the throttle or downshifting instead of outright braking. So, you may not always see brake lights to alert you of a bike's stop. Give three or four seconds of following time for motorcycles and always assume a motorcycle will brake when approaching a stop at an intersection. Drivers who cut off or unintentionally pull in front of a motorcycle without allowing sufficient space can force the rider to crash.
Huntington Beach Motorcycle Accident Compensation
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Huntington Beach motorcycle accident or if you have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, our experienced lawyers can help you seek and obtain fair compensation for your injuries damages and losses. Get help from our team today! Contact us at 714-898-4444 to find out how we can help you.